Sociology

Welcome to the Sociology Department at CSULB

What is Sociology?

What does it mean to understand the world in which you live?  What will your contributions be to our changing world?  How do your experiences and life chances compare to those of others?

If you are curious about people and society, then sociology is for you.

Sociology is the study of human social relationships and institutions. Sociology’s subject matter is diverse, ranging from education to religion, from the family to the state, from the divisions of gender and social class to the shared beliefs of a common culture, and from social stability to radical societal change. What unifies these diverse topics of study, however, is sociology’s core purpose of understanding how human action and consciousness both shape and are shaped by surrounding cultural and social structures.

Sociology is an exciting and enlightening field of study that analyzes and explains important issues in our personal lives, our communities, and the world.  At the individual level, sociology investigates the social causes and consequences of things such as emotions and ideologies, racial identity, sexuality, health and wellness, and crime. At the societal level, sociology addresses issues such as poverty and wealth, prejudice and discrimination, schools and education, law and the criminal justice system, and social movements. And at the global level, sociology studies such phenomena as political power, migration, war, terrorism, human rights and economic development. Students of sociology are challenged to look beyond the “normal”, taken-for-granted views to develop deeper and revealing understandings of the world around us.   

Students who have been well trained in sociology know how to think critically about social life and how to ask important questions. They know how to design good social research projects, carefully collect and analyze empirical data, and formulate and present their research findings. The theories and research methods of sociology yield powerful insights into the social processes shaping individual lives, social problems and possibilities for the contemporary world. As a result, students of sociology know how to help others understand the way the social world works and how it might be changed for the better. Most generally, they have learned how to think critically, evaluate, and communicate clearly, creatively, and effectively. These are all abilities of tremendous value in a wide variety of vocational callings and professions.

No less important, students of sociology are challenged to reflect on who they are, who they want to be and how they can contribute their knowledge, skills and talents to our complex and ever-changing world.

Welcome to Sociology at California State University, Long Beach.

We invite you to explore our website and visit our department for information about our major and minor programs, meet the faculty and staff, and learn more about how you can get involved in the department and the community.

Looking for more information? See how sociologists talk about sociology.